James Baker is Principal Percussionist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. He is music director and conductor of the Composers Conference at Wellesley College and director of the Percussion Ensemble at the Mannes College of Music. He was conductor of the New York New Music Ensemble and is conductor of the Talea Ensemble, and guest conductor of the Slee Sinfonietta at the Institute for 21st Century Music in Buffalo. He has led the Orchestra of the League of Composers, Speculum Musicae, Ensemble ACJW, including at Carnegie Hall, the Cygnus Ensemble, the ensemble Tactus at the Manhattan School of Music, Ensemble 21 and the DaCapo Chamber players, among many others. As a percussionist he appears often with Orpheus, was a member of the American Composers Orchestra and the Eos Orchestra and has played with orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Paris Opéra, Royal Danish and Czech Philharmonic.